The Sioux City Journal today put an anti-bullying editorial on its front page. No arguments that kids have a "right" to bully those with whom they disagree. Just a straight forward discussion that bullying ANY child for ANY reason is WRONG.
Would that more papers would do this.
Siouxland lost a young life to a senseless, shameful tragedy last week. By all accounts, Kenneth Weishuhn was a kind-hearted, fun-loving teenage boy, always looking to make others smile. But when the South O'Brien High School 14-year-old told friends he was gay, the harassment and bullying began. It didn't let up until he took his own life....
Now our community and region must face this stark reality: We are all to blame. We have not done enough. Not nearly enough.
This is not a failure of one group of kids, one school, one town, one county or one geographic area. Rather, it exposes a fundamental flaw in our society, one that has deep-seated roots. Until now, it has been too difficult, inconvenient -- maybe even painful -- to address. But we can't keep looking away. ...
Some in our community will say bullying is simply a part of life. If no one is physically hurt, they will say, what's the big deal? It's just boys being boys and girls being girls.
Those people are wrong, and they must be shouted down.
We must make it clear in our actions and our words that bullying will not be tolerated. Those of us in public life must be ever mindful of the words we choose, especially in the contentious political debates that have defined our modern times. More importantly, we must not be afraid to act.
Stand up. Be heard. And don't back down. Together, we can put a stop to bullying.